The safety of all who live, work and play in St. Charles County is always a priority for County Government. County employees receive training regularly to maintain certifications and to learn new skills and techniques that ensure safety within our community.
As an example of this dedication to public safety, the St. Charles County Corrections Department (County jail) recently commissioned a new Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT). The team is deployed for any major incident that may occur on jail property.
“As St. Charles County has grown, the severity of the crimes committed by our jail population has increased and the propensity for violence amongst the inmates has grown as well. It’s important to have staff properly trained to handle critical situations,” says Dan Keen, Director of the Department of Corrections. “The individuals on this team are dedicated to ensure everyone – including our inmates – are safe from harm in emergency situations – whether it’s a disturbance or a riot, we are prepared to respond and minimize and eliminate the situation.”
Employees in the Department of Corrections were given the opportunity to volunteer to be on the team. All current members of the team were required to demonstrate the physical and mental stamina necessary for handling prolonged emergencies and have received excellent employee evaluations in the last year. Sixteen employees were chosen to join CERT.
The team participated in a 40-hour, in-house training session where they learned self-defense and control tactics, confrontational awareness, riot control, hand and arm signals, cell extractions, inmate escorting and other emergency procedures. In August, they will receive more in-depth training with TJA Use of Force Training, Inc., which is a recognized government training contractor for the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Defense.
“We are proud of this new CERT and have high expectations for them in the future,” says Keen. “While we hope we never have to deploy the team to a critical situation, residents should feel safe in knowing that this safety measure is in place.”